Social accommodation set for former Edinburgh care home site

Outside the dilapidated St Stephens Court care home
Outside the dilapidated St Stephens Court care home

Esh Border Construction has won a £1.5 million tender to transform a dilapidated Edinburgh care home into much-needed social housing.

The Livingston-based company will internally reconfigure St Stephen’s Court in Calder Gardens to provide 29 one-bedroom properties for the City of Edinburgh Council.

The local authority says that the building – which has lain derelict for five years – will be refurbished “to provide an asset that meets current housing needs and demands”.

Esh Border Construction expects to start on-site this week with a projected completion date of December.

It will improve the energy efficiency of the building through increased insulation, double glazing, along with more efficient heating systems.

The company is part of the City of Edinburgh Housing Asset Management Framework, providing general fabric repair work across the council’s extensive housing stock of some 19,800 homes and has also signed up with Link Group, Kingdom Housing Association, Hillcrest Housing Association and Places for People.

Built in 1976, St Stephen’s Court was a purpose-built sheltered housing complex, providing 34 bedsit flats within the Calders Estate.

Due to the small size of the flats, previous owners Castle Rock Edinvar had found it increasingly difficult to let them and approached the council to discuss alternative uses for the building.

In 2010, the council and its health, social care and housing committee agreed to purchase the property for temporary accommodation. However, no plans were taken forward at that point.

The local authority then resolved in 2015 to seek “a cost effective and sustainable solution to bringing the building back into use”.

The City of Edinburgh Council believes that the completed apartments “will contribute to improving the health, physical security, standards of living and the right to an individual, family or social life for the future tenants”.

Regional managing director of Esh Border Construction, Simon Phillips, said: “We are pleased to have won this significant tender, which continues our relationship with City of Edinburgh Council.

“We’re looking forward to now commencing work on St Stephen’s Court.

“We expect it to progress quickly, delivering much-needed accommodation in west Edinburgh as the local authority continues to deliver on its housing pledges.

“We hope that the new apartments will help to improve the area’s social and economic prosperity and attractiveness, while supporting City of Edinburgh Council’s vision of sustainable housing that is fit for the 21st century.”

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